Ennerdale Water is a glacial lake in the north western Lake District. Situated at the entrance to the valley of Ennerdale it is surrounded by rugged hills and forestry plantations. One of the more remote locations in the Lakes, there is a long term project to keep and enhance this 'wild' place.
Below Anglers Crag the noticeably red rock on the path is an outcrop of Ennerdale Granite which is an intrusion forced into the Borrowdale rocks of the area that occurred some 450 million years ago. Its colour comes from syenite, a mineral which oxidises to this ruddy red.
Ennerdale Water is a reservoir used for drinking water to supply the surrounding towns and villages.
Allow at least 4 hours for this walk as the paths are rough and take quite a time. A bunch of older chaps said they were taking the whole day, we don't blame them: it's a lovely walk if surprisingly tiring.
There are two car parks at the western end of Ennerdale Water: Bowness Knott, and Bleach Green. Either one makes a suitable starting point for this walk, for our purposes we start at Bleach Green as the road from Ennerdale Green is not quite as narrow.
If you need accommodation we have details of 16 properties offering rooms near the start of this walk. Here are some examples:
Take the small path at the end of the Bleach Green car park through the woods to the Mountain Rescue donation box next to the track.
Bear left on the track to the water. Reaching the weir and shore line bear right, cross the boggy grass area, over the small stone bridge, to the wall and gate.
Go through the gate and bear left onto the path around the lake.
Below Anglers' Crag just beside Robin hood's chair the path climbs a little and the going gets a little scrambly. This short section requires a little hands on rock, but is not overly steep or difficult, and has plenty of well worn and obvious of hand and foot placements. At the top of the small rise keep following the shore line on the path.
Reaching the end of Ennerdale Water bear left through a gate into the field. Continue on a path across the grass keeping close to the wall on your right. Bear right slightly at the wall corner to another gate at the far side.
Go through the gate and turn right along the field edge on a permissive path to the pedestrian gate. Go through the gate and turn left along the lane.
Cross the concrete bridge over the River Liza to the forestry road and turn left again.
Continue along the forestry road.
Eventually it becomes tarmac. As it does so and starts to climb, bear left to continue close to the shore on a well used but narrow path. As you round the corner below the crags the path becomes very rough again threading an intricate path through bracken and spiky gorse between the shore and crags.
Reaching the Bowness Knott path coming from the right, continue straight ahead and go through the gate.
The path's character becomes easier again. The fields to your right are fenced off here.
The path bears right away from the water a little to a lane, turn left through the gate and continue around the shore. The fields here are not fenced off. Keep left around the lake shore.
You pass a small flatish area with a slate memorial, it was the site of the Anglers Hotel which was demolished in 1961 in anticipation of raising the level of the lake.
Pass the Scout camp on your right, and soon the weir approaches. Cross the bridge over the outfall and turn right to return to the car park.
If you like this walk then why not try one of our other nearby walks:
|Steeple, Scoat Fell, Haycock, and Caw Fell from Ennerdale||2.4km (1.5 miles) away|
|Great Borne and Starling Dodd above Ennerdale||2.4km (1.5 miles) away|
|Grike, Crag Fell, Lank Rigg||3.0km (1.9 miles) away|
Unless otherwise stated the text in this walk is the copyright of Hug Solutions Ltd trading as The Hug and the photographs are the copyright of Elizabeth Oldham. Hill data is derived from Database of British and Irish hills which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Maps contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2011 and paths © OpenStreetMap Contributors,CC-BY-SA, 2011